Saturday, 23 April 2011

Decked in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is bicycle, which...

I really wasn't in the mood to draw a bicycle.


Yeah. Here we are, then.

Bicycle cards have been around for 126 years, according to the website. Not on the website, but I vaguely remember seeing somewhere else (emphasis on the vaguely, there. Don't take this as gospel), is the reason why they're called bicycle cards. Cards for playing on your bicycle, maybe? Cards for inserting in the spokes so that your bike will sound like it has a motor? Apparently not. If I am remembering right, the name was just the company's way of trying to ride a fad. Back in 1885 the new sport of bicycling was all the rage. They even wrote a song about it. All kinds of things ended up being named to attract the bicyclist (much like companies today will try to attract your attention with the word NATURAL, even if natural isn't always a good thing. Sorry, bit of a pet peeve there), and the cards just happened to outlast most everything else.

Except the bicycle, of course.

Hmmm. Might have been quicker for me to just draw a bicycle than do all of this explaining...

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bottlenose Dolphin in soluble graphite

A slightly different take on the bottled prompt. Maybe not a bottled dolphin, but definitely a bottlenose.

The scanner lost a fair bit of this one. Picture more shading and a graphite wash in the background instead of mottled streaks and you'd be closer to the actual thing.

Cross-posting this to my entry for this week's Illustration Friday.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Bottled What? in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is bottled. And I... don't get bottled water.

Don't worry -- despite the naturalist stuff in my profile, this isn't going to get preachy.


I just really, honestly, don't understand why people willingly put so much money into what is essentially filtered (sometimes not so much even there) tap water. And when you start looking at how much money and design effort that companies are willing to put into making the bottles look enticingly sleek or curvy or grippy or workout-y, you realise just how much money is being pulled in from the sale of water.



For anyone out there whose tap water is honestly so bad that they need to buy bottled water, well, I'm truly sorry to hear that. For anyone else? Consider buying a refillable bottle instead of constantly buying new ones.

And for pity's sake, please PLEASE recycle if you are buying bottled water. The piles of used bottles that end up in landfills make for very depressing pictures when you realise that they didn't ever have to be there at all.


To see my other idea for the bottled prompt, please have a look at this post.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Duet in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is duet, and I think that Western Grebes perform one of the coolest duets you're ever going to see in nature.

The courtship dance for these birds is very elaborate and involves preening, head-bobbing, and gift-giving. The whole thing culminates in a sprint down the lake, wings tucked back and water churned up by the feet. Eventually they both dive under the water. I'll leave you to look up more information for yourselves if you're interested, but you can watch the particular part of the ritual that I've drawn in this video.

Just as a slightly weird aside... I used to teach music, so you'd think I would have chosen a musical subject for a prompt like duet. I'd think so, too. I have no idea why the grebes came to mind first.
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